Envision Plastics Makes Food Logistics 2013 Top Green Providers List

Reidsville, N.C.  –June 20 , 2013  – Food Logistics, the only publication dedicated exclusively to the food and beverage supply chain, recently announced this year’s Top Green Providers list which includes Envision Plastics, the creator of EcoPrime™, the only FDA approved, food-grade recycled HDPE resin available in North America.

The Top Green Providers focuses on sustainability in the global food supply chain with profiles of companies who are exceeding industry standards in their sector. This year’s list includes food producers and manufacturers, 3PLs and transportation and logistics providers, equipment manufacturers, and others whose products and services are driving sustainability from farm to fork.

“Food producers and manufacturers have a longstanding and unique relationship to sustainability and environmental conservation considering their dependence on water resources and arable land,” noted Lara L. Sowinski, editor-in-chief for Food Logistics. “In recent years, sustainability has also become critical to other players in the global food supply chain, particularly transportation and logistics providers, equipment manufacturers, software and technology companies, and others who recognize that incorporating sustainable practices leads to more efficient, ethical, and profitable organizations.”

Envision Plastics and other companies on this year’s Top Green Providers list are profiled in the June 2013 issue of Food Logistics, as well as online at http://www.foodlogistics.com.

About Food Logistics

Food Logistics is published by Cygnus Business Media, a leading diversified business-to-business media company. The publication serves the information needs of executives involved in various aspects of the global food and beverage supply chain. Through our print and online products, we provide news, trends, and best practices that help more than 24,000+ grocery and foodservice suppliers, distributors, and retailers make better business decisions. Visit us online at www.foodlogistics.com.


About Envision Plastics

Envision Plastics has been a pioneer in the post consumer recycled resins (HDPE) industry for over a decade.  As leaders in the next generation of recycling processes, Envision is the creator of a proprietary process called EcoPrime™ which produces the only FDA approved, food-grade recycled HDPE resin on the market that meets exacting sustainability standards for packaging.  Envision is also home to the exclusive color sorting process called Prisma™, which is capable of recognizing 40 million shades of color saving clients time, money and resources while reducing waste. Known for their expertise in plastics recycling production and design, Envision provides consulting services to assist clients in optimizing their production while minimizing materials. With locations in California and North Carolina, distribution across the country is cost-effective and convenient for clients. For more information about Envision Plastics, visit http://www.envisionplastics.com.


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HDPE recycling remains stagnant 

October 10, 2012

By Mike Verespej | Plastics News

For the second straight year, post-consumer high density polyethylene recycling has remained stagnant.

The North American recycling rate for HDPE remained at 29.9 percent in 2011 with the amount of pounds recycled dropping slightly from 984.1 million pounds in 2010 to 973.9 million, according to the post-consumer plastics bottle recycling report released today by the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers.

2011 marks the second time that HDPE recycling volume has declined since 2002. There was a decline of 7.5 million pounds between 2006 and 2007.

The HDPE recycling rate had risen from 26 percent in 2007 to 29.9 in 2010. However, the increase in the recycling rate in 2010 was miniscule — just 0.30 percent, meaning that the rate has been stagnant now for three years.

Most of the increase in the recycling rate since 2007 can be attributed to lower virgin resin sales.

“The recycling rate is higher, but it obscures the problem — which is that sales pounds of HDPE peaked in 2006 and 2007,” said Tamsin Ettefagh, vice president of HDPE recycler Envision Plastics in an Oct. 3 presentation at a Resin Outlook conference in Toronto sponsored by Canadian Plastics magazine.

“Unfortunately, the [HDPE] recycling rate is going to stay where it is unless some new idea pushes recycling forward,” said Scott Saunders, general manager of KW Plastics Recycling in Troy, Ala., in a phone interview with Plastics News.

“We need a shot to the system, but I don’t see anything out there, or any new major programs coming on,” he said. “It’s disappointing that we can’t push that recycling rate up closer to 50 percent.

“As an industry, we have the processing capacity to recycle more HDPE, but we’re limited by what we can take in,” Saunders said. “We can’t grow without more materials. At KW, our ability to process is larger than the amount of material we can take in.”

Because of stagnant virgin resin sales, the potential amount of HDPE that can be recycled is not increasing. Virgin HDPE sales dipped nearly 9 percent in 2008. There was a slight uptick in 2009 to 3.365 billion pounds, but virgin HDPE sales have declined again the past two years — first to 3.286 billion pounds in 2010 and then to 3.26 billion pounds in 2011.

Part of that decline can be traced to lightweighting.

“Many HDPE bottle applications are using product concentrates, which means an increasing number of smaller bottles — or fewer bottles made for the total number of uses” for products such as laundry detergent, said the report.

Thus, there are fewer pounds of HDPE bottles to be recycled. “The advent of single-stream recycling in 2009 gave it [collection] a bump, but supply is shrinking,” said Ettefagh in her presentation. “The supply of curbside collected scrap is stagnant — inelastic.”

That shrinking supply of HDPE is compounded by poorer yields of material from bales.

“The quality of feedstock is diminishing partly due to bad single-stream programs and because the export market is not as concerned about quality,” she said in Toronto.

The report agreed. “The quality of available post-consumer bottle material fell slightly for HDPE,” noting that yields dropped from 82 percent in 2010 to 79.5 percent in 2011.

One potential way to increase the amount of HDPE recycled would be if cities and municipalities took a more aggressive approach to recycling plastic material, Saunders said.

“We need more cities to be more be more aggressive in recycling more plastic materials,” Saunders said.

“Not enough cities understand that plastics recycling can be at least be revenue-neutral — and also profitable,” he said. “We have to help cities overcome their budgetary concerns and highlight plastic recycling programs in the U.S. that are profitable or at least revenue-neutral.”

Although there is more discussion of extended producer responsibility and its potential to increase the amount of materials collected, Saunders does not think that will occur in the short-term.

“I don’t think it’s a reality in today’s political environment,” he said.

The amount of HDPE processed by reclaimers in the U.S. rose by almost one-third in 2011 to 843 million pounds with the six largest HDPE processing 667 million pounds — or 79 percent of the total. The remaining 20 HDPE processors recycled just 176 million pounds.

Even though export markets purchased 26 percent less resin in 2011, U.S. companies imported twice as much HDPE in bales — 51 million — as they did in 2010.

Non-food bottles, at 38 percent, and pipe, at 32 percent, accounted for 70 percent of the end-use markets for recycled HDPE.

Total industry capacity, estimated at 1.07 billion pounds, is virtually identical to 2010 and essentially unchanged since 2005 when capacity stood at 1.1 billion pounds. Capacity utilization, at 80 percent, remained virtually the same as in 2010, according to the report.

The challenging market conditions and price environment discourage future investments, said Ettefagh.

A recycling plant that produces 3 tons of resin per hour and is located in the most efficient site requires a capital investment of more than $13.3 million — not including overhead, freight, purchasing or material costs, Ettefagh said in her slide presentation.

Ettefagh told the resin outlook conference that the next potential target area for plastic recyclers could be polypropylene as it is produced in large volumes, 17 billion pounds annually, in North America, and is a safe plastic environmentally.

“Today, there is very little post-consumer recovery of polypropylene,” she said. The all-bottle report estimated that 43.8 million pounds of post-consumer PP was collected and recycled in 2011 compared to 35.4 million in 2010.

“But there is 2 billion pounds available in easy-to-recycle short-lived gizmos,” Ettefagh said. “What’s more prices have doubled in two years and will likely stay higher, so recycling [of polypropylene] will be profitable.”

Mike Verespej is a reporter for Plastics News, a sister publication of Waste & Recycling News.

The truth about plastic bags

By Stan Bikulege

Published July 23, 2012


Until recently, I never considered myself to be a politically active individual.

I consider mine an American story, driven by little more than hard work and perseverance – lessons that were taught to me by my mother and father and that I’ve tried to instill in my three children. I studied Chemical Engineering, pursued a career in business and have run numerous companies throughout my life.

I’m proud to now be the Chairman and CEO of Hilex Poly, a manufacturer of plastic bags and films, but more importantly a pioneer in plastic bag and film recycling. We have driven innovation in recycling, creating and supporting thousands of jobs for hardworking people who are providing for their families. Never did I think I’d end up spending so much time defending them, their jobs, and their ability to support their families. However, these people work extremely hard, and I am proud to represent them.

In the past few years, environmental activists have put our industry on their target list – unfairly using junk science and myths to promote their ideological agenda, without regard for thousands of American jobs and the livelihoods of so many families.

In the past few years, environmental activists have put our industry on their target list – unfairly using junk science and myths to promote their ideological agenda, without regard for thousands of American jobs and the livelihoods of so many families. They have spread mistruths that need to be corrected. American-made plastic bags are mainly produced from natural gas– NOT OIL! They are sanitary, safe and 100% reusable and recyclable.

Yet, plastic bags have been the target of legislators in pockets across America, where politicians have been working to ban or tax them – eliminating the jobs that they support – based on data or information which is incorrect. This means I spend less time working with my fellow co-workers innovating new manufacturing and recycling capabilities, and more time defending the jobs of men and women against politicians who are all too ready to unquestioningly accept junk science to push a nanny state agenda.

We have found ourselves defending our American jobs and our industry in several places across the nation, and thankfully have met some reasonable elected officials who want to legislate based on facts. But, all too often, it’s an uphill battle against ideology.

I have not once wavered in my conviction that it’s worthwhile. I’m fighting, not just to protect the jobs of more than 30,000 Americans employed by the plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector, but to counter a policy that is bad for both the environment and for local economies.

Plastic bags make up only a fraction of a percent of the total litter stream, so banning them won’t have an impact on litter. However, I, like everyone else in America, don’t want litter and that is why I am so proud of the recycling process that my co-workers have developed. We are not only recycling bags, but other products like newspaper bags, shrink films and other products.  Ironically, plastic bag litter actually increased in San Francisco in the year following its ban, according to the city’s own report.

Plastic bags leave less of a carbon footprint than paper – using less water and having drastically less transport costs. Cloth bags need to be used approximately 130 times before being a ‘greener’ option than plastic.

Some suggest using sewn Polypropylene bags, but these are generally imported from China, cannot be recycled, and are usually made from foreign oil. A number of these have been recalled due to lead content. The bags have also been proven to harbor dangerous bacteria like E. coli and coliform. Yet, some want to force unsuspecting parents to put their children’s food in these lead-filled bags.

Then there’s the economic impact of plastic bag bans, since forcing us to buy reusable bags only increases grocery costs. When people shop elsewhere to avoid bans, small businesses suffer the most.

Had you asked me twenty years ago, I never would have guessed that I’d find myself having to protect jobs instead of working each day to create them.  However, I know that I and many others in this industry that have American manufacturing jobs at risk will not stop working to communicate the truth.

At a time of legislative gridlock across the US, my experience has convinced me that what we need as a country is for businesses and private citizens to speak up and bring the facts back to the center of conversation – especially when the alternative means killing American jobs. Let’s focus on growing our American work force, not punishing it.

Stan Bikulege is Chairman and CEO of Hilex Poly, the nation’s largest plastic bag manufacturer as well as the largest closed-loop recycler in the United States. Hilex Poly’s Bag-2-Bag recycling program was the first closed loop recycling program to introduce plastic bag and film recycling programs at supermarkets and retailers that also rewarded customers with high recycled content shopping bags. Hilex Poly operates the nation’s largest plastic bag recycling plant, located in North Vernon, Ind. For more information on Hilex Poly’s sustainability efforts, plastic bag recycling or the Bag-2-Bag program, visit http://www.hilexpoly.com/.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/23/truth-about-plastic-bags/?cmpid=cmty_%7BlinkBack%7D_The_truth_about_plastic_bags#ixzz226yIAVrp